Pete's Walks - Marsworth, Halton, Tring Station (page 1 of 5)

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If you are considering walking this route yourself, please see my disclaimer. You may also like to see these notes about the maps.

Google map of the walk

I did this roughly 14.8 mile circular walk on Sunday, 30th December 2012. This was a new route for me, although most of it was on familiar paths with only three short sections that I'd not described on this web site before (two of these were entirely new, the first such section around Tring reservoirs I think I may have walked long before I started this web site). Because of all the rain we've had over the last 10 days or so, I chose to do a triangular walk where two sides were besides reservoirs or canals (where the paths were at least partially surfaced and therefore less muddy than elsewhere).

I parked in a side street in Marsworth and started walking about 9.40am. I followed the main road through the village and crossed the Grand Union Canal on the footbridge next to the road bridge. I was disappointed to see that the White Lion pub next to the canal was obviously closed, with all the windows boarded up - it's so sad that so many country  pubs are closing nowadays. Still, at least the Angler's Rest (about a hundred yards further up the road) looked as if it was still in business. I crossed over the road and walked into the Pay and Display car park for the Tring Reservoirs, turning right and going up an embankment to reach Startop's End Reservoir. I followed the edge of the reservoir southwest, parallel to the road, then continued along the embankment as it turned left. I saw some Tufted Ducks, Coots and Canada Geese on the reservoir, and a man that I passed had some binoculars and was clearly out bird watching (the reservoirs are a local hot spot for this activity). In the next corner of the reservoir the path ended at a minor road. I crossed over, and continued beside the northern end of Tringford Reservoir. When the path round this reservoir turned left, I took a branching path going straight on along the edge of an empty paddock to reach a lane. A short distance to the left I came to a T-junction where I turned left. After two or three hundred yards I took a familiar path on the right, which soon joined the tow path along the dry middle section of the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal (see here for a description of a walk along the length of this branch of the canal, which I did in June  2009).

Startop's End Reservoir

 

Tringford Reservoir

 

The lane, near Tringford

In fact, after all the recent rain the 'dry' section wasn't that dry, with huge puddles filling a considerable distance of the canal. I followed the tow path, with the canal on my left. Soon I was passing close to Wilstone Reservoir (the largest of the four Tring Reservoirs) over to my right. A lady held her dog by its collar as we met, and she explained that the dog was friendly but apparently had a thing about people carry maps! I passed a wooden bridge carrying a footpath over the canal, and a little further on I was pleased to come across a section of the canal that was being restored. I then came to a section that was restored recently (it was being restored when I did that walk in 2009) - the vegetation has already fully recovered and if I'd not known there was nothing to indicate that the canal hadn't always looked this way. As I passed under the bridge at Drayton Beauchamp, I took my camera out of it's case to take a photo - as I did so, I unwittingly put my left foot in a pothole in the surfaced path here and went over on my left ankle. I just managed to stop myself from tumbling into the canal, and fortunately there was no damage done to my ankle.

The 'dry' section of the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal

 

The 'dry' section of the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal

 

A section of the canal currently being restored

 

This next section was restored recently

 

The Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal, from under the bridge at Drayton Beauchamp

 

I soon passed close to Drayton Beauchamp church, up above the embankment on my right. A little further on I passed under the modern bridge carrying the A41 dual carriageway. Shortly after, the towpath went right for a few yards before turning left to resume its generally south-westward direction and soon reaching Bucklandwharf. Here I had to cross the old A41 heading into Aston Clinton, and on the other side of the road the towpath resumed on the opposite side of the canal. I now had fields sloping up on my left to the road to Halton and Wendover that I use on so many of my walks in the Chilterns. This section ended at Wellonhead bridge, beyond which there were tall trees either side of the canal.

 

Just past the A41 bridge over the canal

 

The Wendover Arm approaching Bucklandwharf

 

The canal approaching the former A31 at Bucklandwharf

 

Approaching Wellonhead Bridge, south of Aston Clinton and Buckland

 

So far I'd only met a few people coming the other way, but now there were a couple walking just ahead of me. When I caught up with them they kindly stepped aside to let me pass. I passed Harelane Bridge, and soon I was passing the extensive playing fields of RAF Halton on my left. I then passed under an impressive blue bridge and a little further on I left the canal at a road bridge in the village of Halton.

 

The canal just beyond Wellonhead Bridge

 

The canal continuing towards Halton

 

The canal continuing towards Halton

 

The canal passing the playing field of RAF Halton

 

Approaching Halton (the road bridge where I left the canal is visible below the blue bridge)

Part 2 of this walk

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